Finding Artemisia: A Journey Into Ancient Women's Business
"Please don't give up on me. You're the best psychologist I ever had. Never give up on me." —Artemisia When psychologist, Dr Diana Verdi, sets off to Central Australia to attend an international conference, she takes some very weighty baggage with her: the recent loss of her mother, a fraught relationship with her father and a floundering marriage. At the same time Artemisia, her fourteen year old patient, critically ill with anorexia, has disappeared. Miles from nowhere, in the middle of the desert, Diana finds herself participating in ancient women's ceremonies, under the watchful guidance of Aunty Millie, an Aboriginal elder skilled in traditional healing. At first Diana resists the old woman's mysterious ways, but eventually the power of the ancient culture breaks through. Diana's relationships, both personal and professional, begin to take on a new light and by the time she leaves the desert women, Diana realises they hold the key to Artemisia's healing. But will she find the girl in time? Denise Greenaway is a storyteller extraordinaire. She uses story to enlighten us about our inner realities and what it means to be human. In Finding Artemisia, she gives us a close-up view of the isolation and alienation found in women's present-day struggles with eating and body image, and then skillfully juxtaposes them against the connectedness found in an ancient world where tending to "women's business" is a sacred act, where mythology and ceremony provide nourishment for the soul. She takes the reader on a journey of transformation as her characters learn how to break free of the limitations of their culturally conditioned roles and relationships so they can claim their authentic selves. A true women's wisdom tale, Finding Artemisia, is a joy to read. Dr. Anita Johnston, Ph.D. Author, Eating in the Light of the Moon
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